Thursday, March 08, 2012

29 percent of DPB population added babies to their benefit

Media Release


According to just-released Cabinet papers, at November 2011, 29 percent of single parents on the domestic purposes benefit had included additional newborn children in their benefit.

Welfare commentator Lindsay Mitchell said that the paper  describes how parents who have additional children are more likely to have started on the DPB with a newborn (rather than having exited a relationship with a child), and have no record of having been employed before, after or during spells on a benefit.

The paper also describes the higher incidence of Maori adding children to a benefit. It says that the on-benefit birth rate has increased between 1997 and 2010 from under 35  to 50 per 1,000 women receiving the DPB .

Mitchell says these are the circumstances that have prompted the government to introduce policy to reverse this trend.

"It is well-documented that children who spend many years in workless homes experience poorer social, health and educational outcomes. There can be no justification for adding children to a benefit received  on the basis that the mother is already unable to raise her children independently."


Kiwiwit said...

"The on-benefit birth rate has increased between 1997 and 2010 from under 35 to 50 per 1,000 women receiving the DPB" - if I understand this number correctly, that means a birth rate of 5%, nearly 4 times the New Zealand average of 1.36% (2007 Statistics NZ). The DPB must be one of the world's most effective fertility treatments.

Kiwiwit said...

Actually, you can double that - just realised the Stats NZ figure is per 1,000 population (not per 1,000 women).

thor42 said...

I agree with kiwiwit.

What a great way to encourage women to have babies. Women, what's more, who can *least* afford to look after them.

National's welfare reforms are about as "nasty" as the Dalai Lama. IMHO, they should have completely removed all financial incentives to have children while on a benefit. Oh well... maybe a National government in 20 years time will look at doing that....

Anonymous said...

IMHO, they should have completely removed all ... benefit(s)

Now that's more like it.

Can anyone explain anything good NZ's benefit system does? From the Dole to the DBP to the sickness to the WFF to the ACC to the GP to the state schools to the hospi to the student loans and especially to the codger-dole (the super).

NZ land of bludgers

Anonymous said...

@ Kiwiwit

No you don't understand the number correctly. 35 per 1000 = 0.035% and 50 per 1000 = 0.05% which are both far below the New Zealand average birth rate.

Lindsay Mitchell said...

Anon, There are different ways of making comparisons. The best would probably be to compare the DPB birthrate to the birthrate of all women having subsequent children.

Age specific fertility rates for all births range from around 25 per 1,000(15-19 year-olds) to 126 per 1,000 (30-34 year-olds.

Anonymous said...

I can think of plenty of good that these benefits and ACC bring.Are you a stupid person or what?But who needs them now.Let me know where you live and I will come and live with you.I am sure you can afford to keep me.

Anonymous said...

According to Annex to Paper C it is women who have had a subsequent child in the previous year that are more likely to have started on the DPB with a newborn and have no record of being employed NOT all solo mothers who have additional children as you suggest Lindsay!

56% of these women started on the DPB with a newborn and have no record of work which is very close to the 58% that had their first child under 20. This is why they went on the DPB with a newborn and have no prior work history. They were teenagers.

If the theory is that solo mothers are having subsequent children in order to have longer periods on the DPB, why does the cabinet paper research show that most subsequent children are born very shortly after the first? Surely if you want to maximise the length of time you receive the DPB you would see an increase in the births later rather than shortly after the first child! The same could be said for having more than one subsequent child, but the vast majority only had one subsequent child (20% out of 29%). The motivations suggested and the stats just don't add up. ONLY 29% are having subsequent children while on the DPB.

Do you actually read this research Lindsay?

I'm shocked that government department research is getting into number fudging and inflation at such a high level as its audience in cabinet!